French comedy on a roll overseas
French comedy romp “Asterix at the Olympic Games” led for the second weekend at the overseas box office, while Fox Searchlight’s Oscar contender “Juno” popped up on the overseas top 10 chart in its first week abroad.Grossing $25.1 million over the Feb. 8-10 weekend for a cume of $74.9 million, “Asterix” easily beating Par’s edgy monster pic “Cloverfield.” “Asterix” took its top coin from its French soph sesh with $10.7 million, a $2.6 million Spanish launch and its second German frame with $2.3 million. “Juno” came in No. 5 overall for the frame, grossing $8.3 million as it unspooled in a number of key territories, including the U.K., where it grossed $4 million. The screen average of $10,839 was a top 10 best in Blighty. In its debut in Spain, the quirky dramedy grossed $1 million. Pic’s international is a robust $17.7 million. “Juno” wasn’t the only awards player seeing action overseas. In the U.K., the Coen brothers’ “No Country for Old Men” and Daniel Day- Lewis starrer “There Will Be Blood” also performed well over BAFTA awards weekend. Outside the top 10, the “Juno” screen average was bettered only by “There Will Be Blood.” The pic placed 11th with a highly successful London platform release of $423,481 at just 24 for a massive $17,645 screen average. As widely expected, London-born Day-Lewis scooped the actor prize at Feb. 10’s BAFTA ceremony. The publicity generated by the main category BAFTA win was expected to help “Blood” as it expanded the following weekend. Another awards season contender, Pathe release “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” also took off nicely in the U.K. Julian Schnabel’s pic banked $210,101 at 29 arthouse sites for a $7,245 average. Like “Juno” and “Blood,” “Butterfly” was blessed with five-star reviews from Brit crix. Still, most holdovers fell away sharply in the U.K. Showing the best traction was the Coens’ “No Country for Old Men,” which slipped 42% in its fourth frame for a $9.3 million running cume. “Old Men” bagged three BAFTAs (director, cinematography and supporting actor for Javier Bardem), which should help maintain awareness. Overall at the international box office, “Cloverfield” came in second, grossing $13.4 million in its fourth frame. International cume has hit $56.9 million midway through the foreign run, underlining the ongoing appeal of scare fare. Worldwide gross through Feb. 10 was $132.9 million. Disney sequel “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” came in No. 3 for the weekend, collecting $10.2 million at 2,766, powered by its $4.9 million first-place Brit launch. “Secrets” has hit $183 million overseas, trailing the domestic cume by $27 million, with openings set in France and China over the Feb. 15 weekend. Warner’s Will Smith starrer “I Am Legend” continued to scare up business, grossing $9 million from 2,657 for a cume of $317.4 million. That put the film at No. 5 for the weekend. “Legend’s” weekend haul was thanks largely to an impressive Russian opening of $5.1 million. Next up on the overseas box office chart was “Juno.” Taking No. 6 for the weekend internationally was Warners’ “Sweeney Todd,” which sang away happily, grossing $7.9 million from 3,762 for an international cume of $59 million. That’s $7 million ahead of the domestic total. Warner’s “Fool’s Gold” launched day-and-date in Australia — where it was shot — with a first-place $1.8 million, and U’s “Definitely, Maybe” opened in fifth in the U.K. with $1.4 million a week ahead of its Stateside debut. “Charlie Wilson’s War,” still early in its foreign run with $26 million, took in $5.9 million at 1,562, mostly from launches in Germany, Italy and South Korea. Warners’ “The Bucket List” scooped up $4.8 million at 1,478, boosting its foreign take to more than $20 million ahead of its U.K. launch Feb. 15 weekend. Adam Dawtrey in the U.K., Andrew Horn in Germany, Emilio Mayorga in Spain, Nick Vivarelli in Italy and David Hayhurst in France contributed to this report.